Vatican City, Jun 10, 2013 / 10:00 am
Pope Francis said Christians cannot receive consolation from both the Holy Spirit and the spirit of the world if they want to be saved.
“You cannot serve two masters, you either serve the Lord or you serve the spirit of this world; we cannot pick and mix,” Pope Francis said at the chapel of Saint Martha’s House.
“A bit of the Holy Spirit, a bit of the spirit of this world, no!” he exclaimed June 10 during his homily. “It’s one thing or the other.”
The Pope said that salvation is to live “in the consolation of the Holy Spirit, not the consolation of the spirit of this world,” which he called a sin.
“Salvation is moving forward and opening our hearts so they can receive the Holy Spirit’s consolation, which is salvation,” the Pope said.
“This is non-negotiable, you can’t take a bit from here and a bit from there,” he insisted.
Pope Francis made his comments based on the day’s readings, 2 Corinthians 1 and Matthew 5.
He explained that Saint Paul uses the word “consolation” several times in first reading.
“He speaks to Christians who are young in the faith, people who have recently begun to follow the path of Jesus,” the pontiff recalled.
“They were normal people, but they had found Jesus.”
He noted this was such a life-changing experience that “a special strength from God was needed and this strength is consolation.”
“Consolation is the presence of God in our hearts, but we must open the door and his presence requires our conversion,” he explained.
Pope Francis then linked the first reading to the Gospel reading, which recalls when Jesus gives the beatitudes in his Sermon on the Mount.
He explained that the beatitudes are the “law of the free” and that they “would seem silly” if we did not open our hearts to the Holy Spirit.
“Just look, being poor, being meek, being merciful will hardly lead us to success,” he commented.
“If we do not have an open heart and if we have not experienced the consolation of the Holy Spirit, which is salvation, we cannot understand this,” he added.
Pope Francis said he believes people’s hearts are closed to salvation because they are afraid of it and people want to stay in control of themselves.
“In order to understand these new commandments, we need the freedom that is born of the Holy Spirit, who saves us, who comforts us and is the giver of life,” he preached.
It is hypocrisy, he said, to “not allow the Spirit to change our hearts with his salvation.”
“The freedom of the Spirit, which the Spirit gives us, is also a kind of slavery, of being enslaved to the Lord which makes us free, it is another freedom,” said the Pope.
“Instead, our freedom is only slavery, but not to the Lord, but to the spirit of the world,” he said of the mankind’s concept of freedom.
He then prayed that grace would open people’s hearts to the consolation of the Holy Spirit, “so that this consolation, which is salvation, allows us to understand these commandments.”
The president and undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko and Bishops Josef Clemens, as well as Indian Archbishop George Valiamattam of Tellicherry, concelebrated the Mass.
A group of priests and collaborators of the Pontifical Council for the Laity also attended the Eucharistic celebration.